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Gauthier gives detail on breakup with Flyers, says he has received death threats

The top prospect did not want to play for the Flyers, so they traded him to the Ducks

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Cutter Gauthier on Wednesday night had the opportunity to explain his side of the story for why his time with the Flyers ended before it ever really started.

In an absolute stunner Monday night, the Flyers traded the 2022 fifth overall draft pick to the Ducks. In exchange for Gauthier, the Flyers received Jamie Drysdale and a 2025 second-round selection from Anaheim.

Once the trade was announced, a well-kept secret was revealed: Gauthier had told the Flyers around seven months ago that he was not going to play in Philadelphia.

"He didn't want to be a Flyer," general manager Danny Briere said, "didn't want to be in Philadelphia."

Gauthier, a top prospect, was initially pumped to be drafted by the Flyers. Why did he decide against signing with them?

"It wasn't one specific reason why I asked for a trade," Gauthier, via Derek Lee of The Sporting Tribune, said in a Zoom interview with Ducks reporters. "It was multiple, re-occurring issues that I'd seen over the past year and a half, two years of being under the Flyers organization. It kind of hit me all at once, thinking 'I can't move forward with this' and 'I really need to step up for myself and see what's best for my future' and that's what I did."

Prior to this season, the Flyers made significant changes in hockey operations. They fired president and general manager Chuck Fletcher in March. With a new, rebuilding vision for the organization's future, the Flyers hired Briere and Keith Jones in May as Fletcher's replacements. In June, the player development staff was revamped.

While the club's decision-makers had known of Gauthier's decision, it was a shock to fans Monday night.

Gauthier said he has received "a lot of death threats" via social media.

The 19-year-old also refuted a report that claimed former Flyer Kevin Hayes influenced Gauthier's decision. Flyers head coach John Tortorella vehemently defended Hayes, as well, Wednesday night.

"I did see one thing going around the internet that I would like to specifically address, the rumors about Kevin Hayes," Gauthier said in an interview with Alexis Downie, the host and producer of Ducks Stream, the team's audio channel. "I would like to officially say that he had zero, zero conflict with anything that had to do with the trade. Seeing all that stuff is pretty ruthless, from what people are saying to that. Kevin Hayes had nothing to do with the situation at hand."

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